A Little Lesson on Prayer Arrows!!
Hey Everyone!! Today I made a Prayer Arrow for someone I love and that could really use the Prayers right now! I learned how to make these on a trip to Tacoma, Washington last year, and I love them so much, I have made several since!! Now, I am not sure of the exact Native American Rituals that go along with the concept of these, I only know what I was taught by the nice volunteer lady at Franciscan Hospice..... But what I am positive about is, Prayer Arrows have been around for years!!!
I was told that a Prayer Arrow is an arrow made with love and a specific prayer in mind, for your self or someone else. Made mostly with materials from the earth, (i.e. Leaves, Feathers, Rocks) Prayer Arrows are said to have a powerful healing effect on not only the recipient but the creator as well!!! I was also taught, you should keep your thoughts and heart focused on the person it is intended for the whole time you are binding your arrow. (This really gives you time to slowly process letting go of control in life, and leaving it in God's hands) To make one, the first thing you will need to do is, go out and find a branch that speaks to you. You will know it, when you see it!!! Then think of the prayer and person who will be receiving it. Write down your prayer on a slip of paper and let the healing begin!!!
Before I tell you the materials you'll need I wanted to show a step that I did and you can do too!! Or skip if you'd like..... It really depends on the look or feel you are going for, or the type of tree you are working with. Once I choose my branch I whipped out my Dremel, picked off as much bark as I could, then sanded it.
(I usually do this because I like using Sycamore Tree Branches and the bark always drys up and falls off. So, to avoid that I just sand it, plus it helps prime for my next step: Staining it)
I used a red wood furniture stain, from home depot, and an old sock to stain my branch. (I keep my stains and paints in small viles, so I don't always have to be pulling out and putting away huge containers!!)
Let your branch dry in the sun for about an hour, and while it is, get together the rest of your materials!!!
Visit http://www.colormatters.com/color-symbolism/the-meanings-of-colors for different color meanings!!
Materials You'll Need:
Branch of your Hearts choice
A slip of paper (Big enough for your prayer to fit, but short enough to be covered by your string)
Pen or Pencil
Feathers (if you like)
Glass Beads (if you like)
Colored thread or string (Raffia or hemp works good too!)
Wood or Elmer's Glue
Wood Stain & Old Sock or Rag(optional)
Sand Paper (optional)
Prayer (the most important thing!)
Ok, Now time for actual Step 1:
Take your piece of paper that you have written your prayer on, and as you are wrapping it around your branch, glue it down.
This should take 5 minutes to dry, if that!!! (Make sure to wrap it as tight as you can to the branch and hold each place down as you glue) Keeping your prayer in your thoughts, your branch should look something like the top picture above!!! (Apparently, you are supposed to wrap your paper with the words side down, so the prayer is safe and hidden....I forgot to do that, I was busy praying!!!):)
Step 2: Start wrapping your first colored string around your branch. To anchor it down, simply wrap your string around the branch once, and hide the end underneath that wrap. (Easier to do than explain!! You can also just tie it around your branch, cut off the end and start wrapping it. Just make sure to hold it in place when you start, or your string will spin around instead)
Step 3: Continue Step 2 until you have wrapped your branch with all your colored strings.
Step 4: Add any additional adornments to your branch. That's the feathers, stones, etc. (I added small polished white glass beads to each end of my arrow, tying them off with string!!)
Once you feel satisfied with your Prayer Arrow, stand back and look at the beauty it holds!!!! It does not matter what you use on your arrow, it is going to turn out looking amazing!!! I have never seen one that I didn't love. And whoever you made it for is surely going to love it too!! Most of all though, this Prayer Arrow is coming from your heart, and that is so much more beautiful than any material possession in the universe!!
This is another Prayer Arrow I made last year for my army friend, Lee. (A lot bigger than the one I made above!!!) The feathers represent the sky, the amethyst represents the earth and the abalone shell represents the sea. Keeping him safe and with love nearby where ever he goes.
If you want to check out a couple other cool articles I found on Prayer Arrows and said rituals, go to: http://www.interfaithforums.com/native-peoples/6742-prayer-arrow.html and http://www.fourdaysaweek.com/breckenridge-colorado.html.